Best of the Blogs

Customer Watch: Conversation Starters

I was interested to read that the Editor in Chief of Lucky magazine, Kim France, made the subject of jewelry intensely personal in talking to her editors about the magazine’s May 2008 jewelry-focused issue. She writes: “Is it any surprise, given the fact that this is a magazine staffed by fashion-obsession obsessives, that every editor we asked had an immediate and specific answer to the question: What was your first favorite piece of jewelry?”

What an excellent question to pose to anyone who lingers over your jewelry display. This question may allow you to engage the customer in a discussion of why she loves jewelry. It may give you clues about her emotional connection to a style, a stone, a metal, a design detail. It may help you understand what makes your customer smile.

Caroline Stanley, “Jewels on Jewels,” May 21, 2008

How Much of the Decline in Mall Jewelers Is Due to the Decline in Malls?

I don’t think we should pronounce the malls—or mall jewelers—dead. Clearly there is more competition today. Walmart is an entire mall in one store. The Internet is a mall on your desktop. … People still like the social aspect of shopping. They like browsing and finding something new. They like a fun place to spend the day.

So Americans still like malls. We just built too many of them.

Rob Bates, “Cutting Remarks,” July 14, 2008

In Memoriam: Yves St. Laurent

On Sunday, June 1, a titan of fashion, Yves Saint Laurent, 71, passed away in his apartment in Paris.

A protégé who overtook the House of Dior in 1958 at age 21, Saint Laurent leaves a legacy of so many things … jackets, jackets, jackets (as in safari, tuxedo, le smoking), peacoats, trapeze dresses, the Mondrian shift of 1965, and, say it with me, ladies, pants! What women in the workplace now take for granted was revolutionary in 1968, thanks to Yves.

We also owe a debt to Saint Laurent’s yoking fashion with high art, drawing from youth and street culture, having celebrity and socialite muses (Catherine Deneuve, Betty Catroux), and transforming haute couture into ready-to-wear. And then there’s that iconic logo, one of the great fashion monograms, YSL.

Toni Rumore, “Style 360,” June 5, 2008